Name: Kim Gladstone
Job Title: General Manager
Describe what you do in fewer than 20 words. Give progressive dealers one-to-one support and focus, by utilising and working with the best tools and partners in the trade.
If you weren’t doing your present job, what job would you like to be doing? Weather forecaster/storm chaser.
The best moment in your career? Deciding to publish Office Plus in the early 1990s with realistically discounted RRPs – some dealers thought I was mad!
The worst moment in your career? John Heath acquiring Neville and Gladstone.
Your best piece of advice to a colleague? Never stop listening to your customers, even if you don’t like what you hear!
Your most embarrassing industry-related experience? So many after 25 years, but probably when a secret bit of video of me dancing like a village clown was played at one of the XPD conferences. Revenge will be mine one day!
What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? Honestly – more of the same, but making a bit more money!
Your favourite office product? Coffee (until the wholesalers start stocking Bacardi!).
What sports teams do you support, and why? West Ham United and still trying to work out why!
What do you think will be the biggest single issue affecting the OP industry over the next five years? The division of ever decreasing margin between manufacturer, wholesaler and dealer.
What do you like least about the OP industry? How some people concentrate on ‘the trade’ more than the consumer.
The biggest change that has taken place in the industry since your career began? The pricing to the marketplace – I can still remember selling at full RRP and on a two- to three-day lead time.
Things you begrudge spending money on? The dentist.
Things that make you angry? The football results most weekends.
If you had to sing at a karaoke next weekend, which song would you choose and why? Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen and do I really need to explain why?
Which character from a TV series do you think most resembles you, and why? Sandra Pullman in New Tricks. Can be stroppy, likes a drink, works with some "challenging" individuals, but is a big softie really!